Hard to predict where local property market will go

OPINION: I was presented with some interesting and well produced professional pie charts this month from a large organisation confidently predicting where in "the cycle" the Gladstone market currently sits.

Are we currently over sold on the way down as we were on the way up?

Will prices be cheaper in 12 months than today?

How will interest rates effect our local economy in the near future? Etc etc etc.

All very nice, but what is really happening on the ground in our region, as opposed to listening to another report from someone behind a desk in one of our nation's major centres?

The sales market has been pretty active of late, compared to the first quarter of the year anyway.

But all the action has been at the lower price ranges - generally $250,000 to $350,000 has seen the most interest.

But at least the volumes there are stabilising the market somewhat.

The unknown is the number of industry-leased rental properties that will arrive on the market between now and Christmas and its effect on rental prices.

There is no doubt the great "rate debate" we have all had an opinion on will continue to rumble along, although I can see little changes occurring from these rumblings in all honesty.

But this does add to the cost of living while the region is changing, which is making it hard for everyone.

Property ownership costs change little in terms of the council rates, insurances and other services and maintenance required.

And currently with the rents relatively cheap already compared to many other Queensland locations, we should wonder whether or not they will change much over the course of the remainder of the year.

I think we will see properties that have not been well maintained sit vacant for longer periods of time.

However, the better stock is being snapped up as tenants benefit from a good selection of choice.

Mark Spearing is the Gladstone chairman of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland.

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